Nervous? Of course I am nervous. Life has become one big nervous battle since my MS progresses, slowly thanks to the medication, but surely.
Taling a photo like this is no longer the simple operation it used to be, but no, no-one is taking away my hobbies, and things I can still enjoy. To take a photo like this I must have a zoom lens attached to the camera, making it a little longer and heavier, but I can still do it. I can easily carry the camera around my shoulder. It is all a matter of how I suppose. I used to take the camera in my hand, point, adjust and shoot. Those days are now gone, but I can still do it. I cannot carry a bag, or rucksack, it would be too uncomfortable, so I have to devise a different way of doing things. I have my mobile phone in my pocket do not need anything more for a walk in the surroundings.
Luckily the places where I take most of my photographs are near. If I go further, then with the car, so I can leave various necessary bags in the car contining a purse, driving licence, and whatever. You will see me walking with a cane in the right hand, a nice colourful cane. If you have to have one, then make it a good one, something completely different.
And I arrive at my destination. Now the problems begin to unfold. How to hold a camera and a walking stick? That depends on the lay of the land. The ducks are in a good place, but I have to stand far away enough otherwise the 300 lens will not focus. As luck would have it there is a hedge opposite the duck enclosure, so I can hang the cane on the hedge, lean on the hedge, take the camera in my hand ,relax and shoot. Yes it is all a matter of organisation.
The problem begins when I reach the enclosure where the horses are. I would now be better with a shorter lens as the zoom is too much of a close up and I do not want to carry a second lens, but where there is a will (and a strong will) there is a way. The hedge is no longer there, been replaced by an open field, so I cannot lean on anything. This can be a nervous moment, but I have it all worked out. In winter I have a jacket with a zip opener. Hang the can over the top of the zip, where you hope it stays. Take the camers in both free hands and take your photo.
I am still not far enough away for an ideal photo, but am too nervous to stand in the middle of a field: just one false step and I may fall, wich is the biggest problem for me. I cannot get up on my own, and I am alone. Another precaution I take is always to have my mobile phone with me. In the worst possible scene, I can call for help. Mr. Swiss is a five minute walk away and if I have an emergency, I can always call a taxi – or an ambulance.
I do not demand of Mr. Swiss that he accompanies me every time I leave the house. I can walk, I can manage, and I can do it on my own. His last question when I leave is “make sure you have your telephone”. I do not expect him to accompany me on a photo walk. He likes to walk, but must constantly wait for me – not only because of the photos, but I am now a slow walker. And so I continue. I hear the church clock strike and realise I have now been on my way for at least 15 minutes. I decide it is time to return, and on the way may take a few more photos. I walk for about half an hour, but am away for an hour.
I feel good when I return home, I have been somewhere, enjoyed my hobby and have a feeling of achievement. I am not a worrier, can relax and enjoy, but there is always a possibility that I might put a foot wrong and fall. It has happened, and I am sure it will happen again, but I refuse to give up, and stay at home.
I can just as well have an accident at home as away. Every step I take is now an achievement for me I notice the progression of the illness, although I have a good medicine to keep it under control. There is no pain, just a tiredness of the limbs, and sometimes a spasticity in the legs. Nervous, not really. I am not doing a bungy jump or a swim across he english channel, just taking a walk in the country with a camera – and a cane.